Secrets To Learning

“Nothing is Impossible –

The word itself says ‘I’m Possible’!”

– Audrey Hepburn


Learning difficulties in children can create a difficult start in life. Would you agree with this?


This was highlighted to me recently.  I was approached by a mother to support her son as he was falling behind in his class work.  She told me how she remembered the difficulty it created for herself when she was the same age. How the school deemed it appropriate for her to be held back for a year.  Now, here we are, over 40 years later, and she can still tell me about how it felt for her at the time. The humiliation of not progressing with her friends into the next class. How that has impacted on her life to date, especially the memory.


So, the task was set. Was there something I could suggest that may be able to help this young man with his attention span in the classroom, and with his ability to retain what he was being taught.


My first step in creating an essential oil blend for a situation such as this, is to check out the research.  There has been some research done over the years, though mainly it is looking at addressing severe learning difficulties that are associated with behavioural difficulties also.


My next step is to address what is needed to be assisted for the client.  In this case, after some discussion, it appeared to be memory retention, increasing his performance in the classroom, while also calming his excitable nature to enable the learning to occur.


From the research papers that I could find (1, 2, 3 & 4), it appeared that lavender, orange, peppermint and rosemary were all essential oils that may be worthwhile considering.  However, my friend has an adverse memory with lavender, and requested that it not be used if possible.


From my discussion the properties that I was looking to utilise were:


  • mental stimulant
  • calming/excitability
  • long term memory retention
  • increase performance in visual tasks


The blend that I have made, Essential Learning, has the following essential oils to enhance the learning experience:


Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

This blend has been trialled by myself and I found that my concentration and ability to ‘get things done’ increased dramatically on the day of use in the clinic.  It was a good day to trial this blend, as I was fasting and my concentration tends to wander on those days.  I was very pleased with the outcome.

I’ve also received feedback from the mother, and it appears that there has been a change in her son’s concentration and confidence within the learning environment.

A good result to date.


1. Moss et al, 2008, “Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang”, International Journal of Neuroscience, 118:59-77

2. Degel & Koster, 1999, “Odours: implicit memory and performance effects”, Chemical Senses, 24, 317-325

3. Degel et al, 2001, “Implicit learning and implicit memory for odours: The influence of odour identification and retention time”, Chemical Senses, 26, 267-280

4. Ellwood, 2002, The Sensory Assessment Schedule, Aromacaring Publications, Bristol

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